Plants of
South Australia
Triglochin trichophora
Small-spurred Arrowgrass
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Prior names

Triglochin trichophorum, orth.var.

Triglochin trichophorum, orth.var.

Triglochin muelleri


Triglochin from the Greek 'treis' meaning three and 'glochis' meaning a point; referring to its three-sided carpels. Trichophora from the Greek 'thrix' or 'trichos' meaning hair and the suffix '-phorus' meaning carry or bearing; Possible referring to the minute spurs at the base of the carpels.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the Nullarbor to the lower South-east, growing in coastal or near coastal areas on sands and calcareous soils. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Very rare in Victoria. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Slender annual herb to 13 cm high. Leaves flat and thread-like, to 8 cm long, shorter than the inflorescence. Inflorescence an erect, ascending or spreading spike to 13 cm long, fruiting part at top to 6 cm long, with 4–49 fruits. Flowering between June and October. Fruits are purple to Straw-coloured oblong fruit to 3.2 mm long and 1.8 mm wide, taped at apex and contracted at base, on stalk to 2 mm long, with six seed segments (carpels), 3 fertile alternating with 3 undeveloped sterile ones. Seeds are purple to straw-coloured wedge-shaped or almost cylindrical seed, with 2 short lateral spurs or points to 0.02 mm long at the base, connected by a membrane between the spurs. Seed embryo type is linear.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between August and December. Collect mature fruits either by breaking off individual spikes or by removing plants that are drying off with fruits that are purple to straw-colour and seed segments coming apart easily. Place the fruit spikes in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried fruit spikes with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.